Commerce City asks feds to review police department after years of officer misconduct

Posted at 6:20 AM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 22:53:01-04

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Commerce City has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review its police department.

The decision comes after several recent black eyes for the department, and years of police misconduct. The city said it wants to earn back the public's trust and is asking for assistance from the DOJ.

"They're going to be looking at our policies, our management, how we work with the public," said city spokeswoman Jodi Hardee.

City Council approved the letter on July 18.

It states that the department has experienced some success with its reform efforts but, "serious internal issues and officer misconduct have been all too prevalent in the department over a prolonged period of time. For example, within the last six months two police officers were criminally charged for their actions while on-duty."

In other cases, the letter said officers have chosen to resign during the internal affairs process before being fired.

The two officers who have been criminally charged include officer Kevin Lord who lied about being shot and is now on probation after admitting he faked the whole story.

Lord said he was shot by another driver during a traffic stop. He was later arrested after forensic evidence showed he staged the crime scene and shot himself with his back-up gun.

In March, Officer John Reinhart was charged and accused of inappropriately touching three women he had pulled over.

"We've certainly had our fair share of public challenges," said Hardee. "This is one more tool for us."

During the city's July 18 council meeting, officials said if the Feds agreed to help, they would bring in subject matter experts, perform a review of the department and go out and talk with the community before providing recommendations.

City officials said it hopes the recommendations will bring longstanding change to the embattled department.

"Help us achieve that end goal of earning the public trust and upholding that public trust and helping us with our reform efforts," said Hardee.

She said the city will find out on Friday if the DOJ accepts its request. 


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